Real-World Use of Wind-Power Giving Better than Expected Bunker Savings

Tuesday December 18, 2018

Real-world use of a Flettner-Rotor wind-power marine propulsion system is providing better than expected bunker savings for Fehn Ship Management.

The EcoFlettner rotor, essentially a large spinning column that uses the Magnus effect to provide propulsion, was installed on the 90-metre long multi-purpose freighter MV Fehn Pollux in June.

"The data we have evaluated so far significantly outmatch those of our model calculations," says Professor Michael Vahs, University of Applied Science Emden / Leer, who is part fo the project team behind the system.

"In perfect conditions, this prototype delivers more thrust than the main engine."

While the specifics of installation cost, consumption, and savings were not discussed, Vahs said the data gathered so far suggests the tech could pay for itself within a few years.

Gavin Allwright, Secretary General of the International Windship Association (IWSA), has previously said that in broad terms wind propulsion technologies can provide potential fuel savings of 10-30% for retrofit installations.

The news is the latest in what has been a significant uptick in attention for marine wind-power technologies, with Renault, Maersk Tankers, Airbus, and Ultrabulk all announcing wind-power projects in recent months.

Flettner-Rotors last week even caught the attention of main-stream media courtesy of the BBC.